Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 15 December 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 15 December 2019


::NATIONAL::

CJI denies plans to use AI for decision making in courts

  • Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has said that there is no plan to use Artificial Intelligence in the decision-making process in the courts.

  • Justice Bobde said, there is no move to substitute the judicial decision-making process of the human mind. He made this clarification after the former chief justice of India RM Lodha expressed concern about the use of Artificial Intelligence at a programme in Nagpur.

  • Justice Lodha in his speech said the idea using Artificial Intelligence is good and may help significantly in the management of cases in courts and discharge of judicial functions.

  • However, he said, like other technological innovations such use may have potentially negative implications. His request to the CJI was that all pros and cons must be carefully weighed before Artificial Intelligence is used in judicial decision-making.

NCPCR issues directions over misuse of children during protests

  • National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued advisory to the Directors General of Police of all States regarding the use of children in unlawful activities like stone-pelting during the protests in various States against the amended Citizenship Act.

  • The NCPCR said, it has come to Commission's notice that certain groups of protesters are involving children in unlawful activities like stone-pelting and other violent acts during the protests.

  • The Commission said that such use of children prima facie amounts to a violation of the right of children under provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015.

  • The Act states that any adult or an adult group uses children for illegal activities either individually or as a gang shall be liable for rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable for a fine of five lakh rupees.

::ECONOMY::

Govt. lists out initiatives taken to improve ease of doing business

  • The Corporate Affairs Ministry has taken several initiatives for providing Ease of Doing Business to law-abiding corporates.

  • This is in pursuance of the objective of providing greater Ease of Doing Business, bring about greater transparency in corporate structure and fostering better corporate compliance to enhance the efficiency of the process under the Companies Act of 2013.

  • They include the creation of an institution of a robust Insolvency and Bankruptcy framework. India has improved its ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report moving up 14 positions to 63rd position as compared to 77th position in 2018.

  • India’s leap of 14 ranks in the Ease of Doing Business ranking is significant considering that there has been a continuous improvement since 2015 and for the third consecutive year India is amongst the top 10 improvers.

  • The Ministry has contributed towards insolvency resolution. India’s ranking jumped 56 places to 52 in 2019 from 108 in 2018. Recovery rate increased from 26.5 per cent in 2018 to 71.6 per cent in 2019.

  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in the LokSabha on 12th of December, 2019.

Coal ministry to promote environmentally sustainable coal mining

  • Coal Ministry has decided to establish a Sustainable Development Cell, SDC, to promote environmentally sustainable coal mining in the country. It will address environmental concerns during the decommissioning or closure of mines.

  • The move gains significance as the new private entities are now going to form a significant part of the future.

  • The Cell will advise, mentor, plan and monitor the mitigation measures taken by the coal companies for maximizing the utilization of available resources in a sustainable way, minimizing the adverse impact of mining and mitigating it for further eco-system services.

  • It will also formulate the future policy framework for the environmental mitigation measures including the Mine closure Fund.

  • The Sustainable Development Cell envisages to address the environmental mitigation measures in a systemic manner and to provide a better environment to people working and residing in the vicinity of Mines.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

U.S warns Iran if its interests are harmed in Iraq

  • After a series of rocket attacks on Iraqi bases, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday warned Iran of a decisive response if United States interests are harmed in Iraq.

  • US has expressed mounting concern about the flurry of attacks on Iraqi bases used by US troops. Two rocket attacks this week targeted a compound near Baghdad International Airport, which houses US troops.

  • Pompeo said Iran must respect the sovereignty of its neighbours and immediately cease its provision of lethal aid and support to third parties in Iraq and throughout the region. Pompeo pinned the blame for the latest attacks directly on Iran's proxies.

  • Trump administration, which is close to Iran's adversaries Saudi Arabia and Israel, has been trying to counter Tehran's influence around the region, including through sanctions aimed at blocking all its oil exports.

  • The US last week imposed sanctions on three leaders of the Shiite paramilitary force Hashed al-Shaabi, accusing them of taking part in the deadly crackdown on nationwide protests.

  • Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, a close ally of Iran who also enjoyed cordial relations with the United States, resigned after the two months of demonstrations in which around 460 people have died.

Madrid climate talks concludes without any carbon market deal

  • Marathon International climate talks closed today, with negotiators postponing until next year a key decision on global carbon markets.

  • After two weeks of negotiations on tackling global warming, delegates from almost 200 nations passed declarations calling for greater ambition in cutting planet-heating greenhouse gases and in helping poor countries suffering the effects of climate change.

  • But despite holding the longest climate talks ever in 25 nearly annual editions, they left one of the thorniest issues for the next summit in Glasgow, in a year's time.

  • Environmental groups and activists accused the world's richer countries of showing little commitment to seriously tackling climate change.

  • The talks have been accompanied at times by angry protests from indigenous and environmental groups, both inside and outside the venue.

  • The demonstrations reflected growing frustration, particularly among young people, at the slow pace of government efforts to curb climate change.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Haryana comes out with unique barcoding software to store forensic data

  • The Haryana Police Department has adopted a unique barcoding software. The software is used to ensure that 1000s of digital forensic reports are stored safe and secure. It offers a foolproof security to the samples collected from the crime scene.

  • In conventional methods, the crime exhibits like parcels or samples are labeled with details like FIR number, names and addresses of victim, medical officers and accused.

  • The crime exhibits include documents, DNA samples, serology, toxicology or biology examinations, lie detections, etc. These exhibits are easy to track and trace as they are stored on FIR number and are available to be tracked virtually by anyone.

  • The Software features two stages of bar coding to maintain the secrecy of the samples. The samples and reports are sent through biometrically authorized chain.

  • The cases are allocated to the biotechnology experts through automated case allocation. Therefore, the experts will not know about the details of the case or the names associated with case.

  • The software is android based and has been prepared in an application format. Therefore, usage becomes simple. It can be well integrated with the judicial system and doing so will help reduce time lags. Above all, the system helps in reducing malpractices greatly.

::SPORTS::

India loses to Sweden in U-17 Women’s football

  • The India U-17 women's team began the three-nation football tournament on a disastrous note, going down 0-3 to Sweden in the opening match at the Mumbai Football Arena today.

  • For Sweden, MaltidaVinberg in 4th minute, Ida Weindenberg in 25th minute and Monica Jusu Bah in 91th minute scored a goal each as they exposed the weaknesses of the Indian team.India will next take on Thailand in the competition on Tuesday.

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